(Warning: Honesty & vulnerability ahead.)
This morning I was listening to an interview with Deepak Chopra, and while the entire interview was fascinating, the last few words he said really resonated with me. Dr. Chopra said that we should not pursue success, but instead pursue excellence. This isn’t some amazing bit of new wisdom, but rather amazing old wisdom that I had ignored of late.
Trying to get my old-to-me-but-new-to-everyone-else fine art photography business off of the ground has averted my focus from becoming an artist who makes the most inspiring, creative, high-quality photographs possible to just getting interior designers & art consultants to specify my artwork & beating my competition. That latter success-driven person is NOT who I am nor who I ever want to be!
I spent over 10 years at home raising my children while other photographers gained footholds in providing photographs for the A+D industry (especially in healthcare design.) However, while those photographers were having great success in business, I was excelling & growing in my chosen art form, learning about the new digital technologies, and embracing the artistic possibilities. I had been a good photographer coming out of college, but I was becoming a great one. If I couldn’t actively market my art, at least I could spend the time getting better at it.
The problem of late is that I have looked at some of photographers having success in the market who I think are mediocre, and out of envy & frustration have focused on comparing myself to them and to beating them. Anything done out of envy & frustration is the wrong thing to do. Thankfully, I did not wallow in those emotions for long & have come back to my senses.
I became a photographer because I see the world differently than most & wanted to share that vision and inspire others. Do I want to be successful as a photographer & provide for my family, of course? BUT, I will not do that at the expense of being a loving human being & inspiring part of this amazing world we live in! From here out my commitment is to share my inspiring & healing art with the A+D community & let the excellence speak for itself. I will seek & strive for excellence in my art, my business, & my life. If success grows from that then so be it, but my focus will remain continued growth & excellence.